There are a lot of issues that only women with naturally curly hair know – how distressing (and annoying) it is when anything becomes tangled in the hair, and how erratic the hairstyle could be. While we’ ‘ve all been envious of straight-haired friends (they get it so easily!), at the end of the day, there is something compellingly gorgeous about locks, something we would not want to swap for anything on earth.
However, they’re quite susceptible to breakage a whole lot of the time.
Thus, the great question is what to do to maintain curly hair in a manner that leaves it glossy, manageable, and voluminous. Use these tips to get started.
How to Find your Curly Hair Type
Finding out if you have straight hair is fairly straightforward, though figuring out an answer to your wavy or curly type of hair texture is far more challenging. When it concerns hair types, it is a general rule that hair can be classified into four basic kinds: Straight, Wavy, Curly, and Curly or Frizzy hair.
Following this guideline is a great place to begin to identify the curly type that most closely matches yours (take into account that this guide leaves out type 1, as it relates to smooth hair). To figure this out, you should opt to offer up a couple of strands of hair by picking them off your head while your hair is still wet. Lay them down flat on a blank canvas and see how they change to their original form while they air dry. You may notice a couple of distinctive patterns since not all hair necessarily features identical types of locks throughout.
Type 2: Wavy hair
Type 2 covers natural waves which can range from almost unnoticeable to being confused with curly hair. Wavy hair is generally straight while wet and becomes curly when it is dry. It is different from curly hair because it cannot make swirls or turns that curl up around itself. The most crucial factor with wavy hair is to maintain it as well as provide sufficient volume for it to flow naturally, therefore, apply your styling items economically and delicately.
Type 2A hair tends to be straight growing at the top of your head and creases at the ends. The waveforms differ easily from the straight lines.
Often this style of the wave is very manageable and demands minimum styling. Waves will form beautifully when left to air dry naturally. Make sure to choose hair shampoos and conditioners which will not give your hair limpness, but rather add a touch of volume to it.
Type 2B hair is growing straight but is beginning to build medium to large S-shaped waves on the top of the head (just think of beach waves).
To preserve the springy form of the waves and protect them from frizzing, apply gentle shampoo and care formulas. As this type is usually curlier than type 2A, gentle leave-in conditioners designed to wrap the waves on moist days can add additional coverage and maintain the form of the waves intact.
Type 2C waves are generally recognized as being small to medium-sized waves that form into an S-shape while growing. This form is on the boundary where wavy and curly hair meet. However, whereas to some people these already appear like typical curly hair, type 2C never forms any feathers, a distinguishing feature that sets waves apart from curls.
2C waves tend to be the most susceptible to frizz of all the curly hair types. Controlling both volume and frizz can be a challenging job, though leave-in conditioners and hair serums are great choices for balancing both.
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Type 3: Curly hair
This type covers hair curling in feather and corkscrew forms. Usually, when the hair is wet, the curls appear as waves, but when dried, they assume a three-dimensional swirl form. Every strand of this type of hair might be quite unique. Be sure to find products that are designed especially for curls and help keep frizz at bay. This type is the most likely to cover various hair types (fine, medium, or thick hair) and will also mix wavy and frizzy strands.
Curl type 3A is distinguished by extended, spiral curls which have a big diameter and curl from the top of the head downwards. With big, soft curls, this hair typically will not have a rough feel, and the feathers are springy and bursting with life, even under minimum style.
3A curls are famous for being some of the most manageable types of curls, and with the proper products, might not really need a great deal of styling at all.
Type 3B has good defined, medium-sized springs, resembling corkscrews.
With this type of curls, it is not needed to enhance the volume, because these spirals generate body by bouncing off one another. But 3B curls are susceptible to breakage and frizz.
Hair type 3C has feathers that are less and more tightly packed than 3B, and they may range from precisely defined to loose spirals.
However, when it has to do with curl maintenance, it’s essential to apply a detangling comb from the tip to the root, instead of from the root to the tip the way the majority of people do to prevent breakage. In order to maintain full and manageable locks, make sure to use mild shampoos, like cleansing conditioners (otherwise referred to as co-washes), that simultaneously purify and condition with greater amounts of conditioning agents.
Type 4: Coily/Kinky Hair
This type of hair may either feature a tight zigzag shape that will not twist around itself, as well as closely wrapped s-shaped curls. It may also blend the two shapes together. Type 4 curls have the ability to shrink when dried. In order to identify if it is your curl type, have a better look at it when your hair is wet and dried.
Curl type 4A can be recognized by the presence of tiny but noticeable S-shaped strands lined up in tight rings.
To help keep damage to a minimum, apply shampoos and conditioners that are abundant in hydrating agents, and lightly pat the hair dry avoiding over rubbing. This type of hair will also profit from additional nourishment from hair creams and oils to make the coils feel soft and protected from humidity.
Type 4B is distinguished by its tiny zigzag design, which is often followed by compressed and s-shaped coils.
This hair type is appropriate for a variety of styles, and it can withstand a number of products ranging from mild to rich.
4B curls are most vulnerable when they are wet, though, be sure your hair is properly conditioned before styling. Consider using a rich leave-in conditioner, that can be applied to wet or dry hair.
Tightly coiled strands of 4C type are more brittle compared to all other styles and have a very close zig-zag form, which is in some cases undetectable to the eye.
This type of hair is the most susceptible to breakage, therefore consistent hydration is essential. Condition your hair a minimum once a week using deep conditioning rinses and hot oil applications. When using hair oils, untangle and part your hair using your fingers to make sure the products are spread uniformly.
Curly Hair Care Routine
1. Do not excessively shampoo
Usually, curly hair is prone to being dry. Therefore, it’s so essential to avoid shampooing them too frequently. Excessive shampooing unlocks the cuticle and drains the hair of its natural oils, which further dehydrates your curls. Therefore, the less you shampoo, the better! Anytime your curls begin to frizz, you can do some protective styling.
2. Clean the scalp
Aside from that, shampooing curly hair is still essential for maintaining healthy hair growth as it gets rid of all deposits of oils, dirt, and dust (um, not something that we would like, no way). While shampooing, concentrate on rubbing and cleansing your scalp using your fingertips.
3. Avoid alcohols and sulfates
What’s really important is to use products that are made especially for curly hair, and which are also sulfate- and alcohol-free. As you might have already figured out from this article, these are the ingredients that actually dehydrate hair (and are damaging in many other ways too), thus you need to stay away from them by all means.
Talking about moisturizing, it’s just so essential to moisturize your curls. You are able to do that by applying a conditioner each time you wash your hair, as well as applying deep conditioners and oil treatments regularly throughout your routine.
4. Softly dry your hair with a cotton t-shirt
Softly dry your hair with a cotton t-shirt and carefully rub out the rest of the water. Avoid rubbing it with a harsh towel, as it may result in the cuticle opening up and causing your hair to become frizzy.
And then let it air dry. When your hair is prone to becoming frizzy after drying, apply leave-in hair solutions designed for curly hair, like a curl-activating cream, or just let some Argan oil soak in.
Regardless of what you do, be sure not to disturb your curls while they are drying! Messing with them or running your fingers through them can make them frizz, which is the first thing you want to avoid, to be honest.
If you’re short on time, consider using a diffuser to dry your hair. Turn your head upside down and keep the diffuser evenly against your scalp – do not move it too much, as the wind that gets away can make your hair frizzy.
5. Never brush curly hair
Honestly, if you own a brush at all, throw it out right now! Just comb your hair with a wide-tooth comb before taking a shower, or gently finger comb it after you’re done. Keep in mind that wet hair is more susceptible to breakage, so be ultra-patient and gentle when you comb it wet.
6. Avoid hairspray and mousse
Besides the fact that it can leave your curls crispy (a huge no-no!), both of these products tend to be the ones with the highest amount of alcohol in them.
7. Be economical with the heat
Overheating can make your curls lose their natural, spiral form and appear lifeless. When you see this happening, refrain from using any type of heat (including blow-drying with a diffuser!) for a week or two and concentrate on hydrating your curls to restore their bounce. When using hot styling appliances, adjust them to a medium heat level and make sure to use a heat protection agent every time.
How to sleep with curly hair
Haircare experts swear by the pineapple trick as part of a sleep routine for curly hair. Stack all your hair on top of your head into a chignon or a loose ponytail. This will create less friction between your hair and the pillowcase. Switch to satin or silk pillowcases instead of cotton ones to reduce friction.
How to deep condition curly hair
How curls should be conditioned? Well, the short answer is: deeply. But the long answer is that curls find it more difficult not just to lock in moisture, in fact, they find it more difficult to soak up the natural moisture generated by the body. Hair follicles produce an oil called sebum, yet it finds it more difficult to move down the curved waves of curls and coils. (That helps explain why the tips of curly hair are prone to becoming extra dry). This is why routine deep conditioning is suggested for curly hair, particularly for the lengths and tips. Products with shea, cocoa, and Murumuru butter help maintain soft, moisturized curls.
Curly Hair Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
When you have curly hair, you probably know by now that maintaining it properly might be a little tricky. In contrast to straight and wavy hair, curly hair can often bring its own set of challenges, among them an enhanced chance of hair breakage, frizz, and dryness. Regardless of whether you have 3A or 3C curls, you have likely experienced one or two of these problems at least once during your search for springy, frizz-free, well-defined curls. Hey, the struggle is real – we understand. This is why we’ve reached out to our team of hair care professionals to find out the top curly hair mistakes you make and things you should do to prevent them to keep your curls smooth, glossy, and intact!
Mistake #1: Excessive hair washing
The frequency of washing your hair is entirely your choice and is dependent on a range of things – like scalp hydration, production of sebum, and training regimen – however, it’s advised that curly hair types minimize the amount of washing they do. This means, in other words, that you likely need to avoid shampooing your hair every day. Textured hair takes its natural oils to remain healthy, and if shampooed too frequently, it can become dehydrated, causing damage and breakage. For the best results, shampoo it just once or twice a week.
Mistake #2: Omitting conditioner
Curly and textured hair tends to become dry, blunt, and frizzy a lot of the time. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that you hydrate these fragile strands properly. In other words, do not leave out the conditioner! A moisturizing conditioner designed specifically for your curly hair is going to help you maintain a wholesome dose of hydration, nourishment, and protection that your hair just isn’t able to receive from shampoo on its own. Simply pay attention to hair-healthy components like Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Avocado Oil, and Aloe Vera.
Mistake #3: Leaving it too long before putting on styling products
If curly hair is concerned, the faster you can set your curls, the better. Therefore, it is suggested to put styling agents while your hair remains very damp and before frizz gets time to establish itself. By waiting too long, you can roughen the hair cuticle, causing your curls to get frizzy and lack definition. Make sure when you apply the products that you work them in using your closed hands and avoid going through your fragile curls, as this may also lead to frizz and damage.
Mistake #4: Blow-drying your hair in the wrong manner
Drying your hair naturally in the air anytime you can is generally the preferred option for curly girls. When you blow-dry your hair, though, you may want to add a diffuser attachment to your blow dryer in order to decrease the level of exposure to direct heat and powerful air reaching your strands. Using a diffuser can keep your hair from getting swirled around excessively while drying, resulting in reduced friction and, consequently, reduced frizz.
Mistake #5: No leave-in conditioner
Just conditioning your hair while in the shower won’t cut it. Textured hair is in need of long-term hydration and nourishment. That’s why you should definitely invest in a gentle leave-in conditioner. That’s why you should definitely invest in a gentle leave-in conditioner. In addition to supplying your hair with a hefty dosage of long-term hydration and nourishment, it also forms a defensive layer of protection on your strands, aiding in fending off the things that can damage your locks, like frizz, hair breakage, and UV damage.
Mistake #6: Trying brush to detangle
If you only take away this one tidbit from this post, this is it: don’t ever brush or detangle your hair after you shower. The use of a fine-toothed comb on textured hair is the simplest route to disturbing your lock pattern and causing your tresses to become a huge, stubborn mess. Rather, attempt to softly comb and untangle your curls in the shower whilst conditioning your hair. Run the conditioner down the lengths of your hair using a wide-tooth comb, working your way from the tips to the roots all the way until your locks are tangle-free. As soon as your hair is fully washed out, avoid combing or detangling your hair (including with your fingers), since this will just cause your curls to split apart and add to your needless stress.
Well, let’s face it, curly hair needs a whole lot of extra hair care. However, once you begin to appreciate the underlying science of exactly what curls are – as well as the way they can alter with time – it begins to get a much more meaningful understanding as to why.